Adobe Commerce Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies
As an Adobe Commerce Certified Solution Specialist at Creatuity, I help Adobe Commerce merchants increase the conversions on their site. In this article I’ll share some of my proven conversion rate optimization strategies that can be implemented to ensure you get the best conversion rate optimization.
In this guide to conversion rate optimization strategies, you will discover
- What are conversion rates – and how do I optimize them?
- How to start a CRO strategy from scratch
- CRO Toolbox
- Break it down
- CRO for B2B
- Conversion Killers to Avoid
- Set Realistic Goals
- Common Mistakes with Conversion Rate Optimization
- Frequently asked questions about conversion rate optimization strategies
What are conversion rates – and how do I optimize them?
In basic terms, your website conversion rate is the percentage of website visits that have taken a desired action - such as subscribing to a newsletter, making a purchase, or filling out a contact form.
Conversion rate is calculated by taking the number of people that are completing your desired action and dividing it by the number of website visits.
For example, if you had 10,000 site visits and 200 product sales, your site conversion rate would be 2% (200/10000=0.02).
If you're successful in optimizing your website conversion rate, you're able to increase your leads, sales, and revenues without increasing the traffic to your website. This can in turn help you bring your customer acquisition costs down and improve your marketing ROI.
It's important to take a scientific 'experiment-based’ approach to conversion rate optimization.
For example, it's not necessarily valid to look at a 2% site conversion rate in Week 1, make some site changes, and then attribute a 2.5% site conversion rate in Week 4 to the changes you made. There are outside factors (site offers, competitor offers, distribution of marketing budget etc.) that may well influence things.
The most common way of conducting conversion rate optimization experiments is with A/B testing - where a certain percentage of site visitors see one version of a page on your website, with the remainder seeing your original 'control' page.
Once an A/B testing experiment has collected enough data for the findings to be valid, you'll be left with a clear understanding of whether the control or the experiment version of a page delivered a stronger conversion rate. You can then set the winning variation live.
An alternative to A/B testing is Multivariate Testing (MVT).
With MVT you're not limited to testing two versions of a page. Instead, you compare a higher number of different variables and measure the performance of a web page with different combinations of elements.
For example, you might have 3 variations of a button, 4 variations of your H1 copy, 2 variations of your descriptions, and 4 image variations that you want to test.
MVT will deliver different combinations of these elements to site visitors, and you'll be able to see which combination of elements has the biggest impact on your conversion rate.
The one thing to bear in mind with MVT is that with such a high number of potential combinations, you may need to wait a little while for enough website traffic to make the results valid.
How to start a CRO strategy from scratch
Identify areas for optimization
Before you get your CRO experiments set up, you first need to decide which pages of the site you need to test.
Some suggestions for helping you decide:
- Which pages of the site have a high exit rate?
- Are there any parts of your checkout process that see a high abandonment rate?
- Does a heatmap show areas of key pages that people are spending time on, but not clicking? Or avoiding altogether?
- Do session recordings show areas where visitors are getting stuck on your site?
Prioritize your tests based on potential business impact
Once you have an overview of the areas you feel would be valuable to test and could potentially improve your conversion rate - it's time to prioritize.
Sit down with the relevant stakeholders in your business and determine which of the areas for testing is likely to have the biggest business impact.
It's often the case that changes to your checkout flow/lead capture flow and high-traffic pages are the ones that deliver the greatest business benefit.
Hypothesize and rationalize the things you're testing in experiments
When you become aware of the possibilities available with CRO, it's common for a lot of ideas to start flowing.
It's important to keep an open mind to any ideas that are suggested (any CRO professional will have examples where big changes were seen from unexpected sources!), but also make sure that you don't get too carried away.
Every additional variation in a Multivariate Test is likely to require a larger sample size...extending the length of the experiment.
Don't be afraid to be bold in initial A/B tests
The bigger you swing, the more likely you are to hit a home run.
But some businesses can be reluctant to make major changes to hero banners, headlines and prominent copy on a website.
Make sure you have the buy-in from a senior stakeholder in the business that can help manage expectations with other senior personnel that some bold ideas might be tested in the spirit of progress.
Optimizing for the 'small incremental gains' should come after the big wins.
Once you've seen great results from bold tests, it's probably time to turn your attention to smaller site optimizations that can deliver small incremental benefits over time.
Tools to Help with CRO Strategy
Leveraging the features included in Adobe Commerce is affordable and quick. For example, Adobe Commerce includes Abandoned Cart Recovery features, such as emails and reports, that are often overlooked. Adobe Commerce 2.1 includes two features proven to increase conversion:
- Elasticsearch (Enterprise Edition only): Customers can quickly find what they are looking for with cutting-edge Elasticsearch technology powering your site search. You can optimize the experience by setting weighted attribute values, stop words, and searching synonyms.
- PayPal in-context checkout and saved credit cards: Shortens checkout time and complexity.
Adobe Commerce 2.1 also has a streamlined checkout, support for product videos, and Varnish caching (to improve page load time). All these features can improve conversions. Two other features Adobe Commerce includes that are sometimes overlooked for conversion rate optimization:
- Visual Merchandizer: Drag-and-drop products to create pages that convert optimally.
- Customer Segmentation: Segment your customers to ensure you show the right shopper the right content. For example, if you sell to both consumers and businesses on the same site, you should segment them.
Google Analytics is perhaps your most important CRO tool. Adobe Commerce includes support for Google Universal Analytics. If you are new to Google Analytics, don’t get overwhelmed. These are the key metrics to review:
- Conversion Rate: See where you stand now and make a goal to improve.
- Exit Rate: Don’t confuse this with Bounce Rate. Bounce rate indicates low-quality traffic typically, and in my experience, doesn’t correlate with conversion rate. Exit rate, however, could be an indicator of poor content, site speed, etc., and is more relevant (in general - though there are some exceptions).
- Average Session Duration & Average Page Depth: Improving both metrics will directly correlate to higher conversions, in general. Not surprisingly, people spending more time on your site, buy more.
I typically don’t recommend focusing on traffic, because the correlation of traffic to revenue isn’t always directly positive. You could, however, monitor traffic sources since a change in traffic source mix will typically affect conversion rate (either positively or negatively).
If you’re on a budget, there are great conversion rate optimization tools that are free or very inexpensive:
- Inspectlet allows you to watch your shoppers, to see exactly where they are having problems shopping (i.e. search, checkout, layered navigation). (Basic plan is free)
- MageMail allows shoppers to recover abandoned carts with one click. This goes beyond the abandoned cart tools included in Adobe Commerce, with other re-engagement emails, such as smart recommendations. (Only pay for conversions)
- Google PageSpeed Insights allows you to quickly test the speed of your site on all devices, as well as test some basic UX rules. (Free)
- If you want to dig deeper into which social channels are converting the best, I recommend a specialized social analytics platform called AddShoppers, which is much more robust.
- You can do A/B split testing for free with Google Optimize which has replaced Google Content Experiments. This takes a little bit more time and technical knowledge than a turn-key solution such as VWO or Optimizely.
Break It Down
It can be extremely useful to break your conversion funnel down into ‘website-to-cart’ and ‘cart-to-sale’. The latter should be significantly higher, perhaps 30% or more (varies by industry & cart value). Viewing these separately will help you focus your efforts on the part of the funnel that needs the most attention.
Another way I recommend segmenting is by device type - you may find that improving mobile conversions alone can boost sales significantly. Don’t get discouraged by lower mobile conversion rates though, since this is normal.
Lastly, you should segment on traffic source (organic, paid search, referral, etc.). This will help you hone your landing pages for each source to maximize conversions and see if a particular source is performing better/worse than you expected. This allows you to efficiently allocate your budget to the source(s) that is performing the best, as well as improve conversions on a per-source basis.
CRO for B2B
Yes, CRO for B2B merchants is important. Your B2B shoppers are typically short on time yet have more formal (sometimes lengthy) purchasing processes to adhere to. You must improve your site to meet their expectations. If you don’t, the competition will.
All the strategies in this article equally apply to B2B. Since your customers might shop differently than you expect, reviewing the analytics and a tool like Inspectlet will help you understand your shoppers better.
Conversion Killers to Avoid:
- If shipping isn’t free, be upfront about it. Show costs as early in the shopping process as possible. I adamantly recommended split testing free shipping to see if it improves your conversion rate and average order value enough to justify the cost - you might be surprised.
- Display your phone number in the header. Be easy to contact, via live chat, phone, email and FAQ pages.
- Return policies should be clear.
- Delivery timelines should be clear. Shoppers prefer to see the estimated delivery date (“Expected delivery is 12/1/2016”) rather than timeframes (“3-5 days”). Plumrocket has an Estimated Delivery Date Extension that puts this information right on the product page.
- Quick checkout with a variety of payment options, including at least one “wallet” method like PayPal or AmazonPayments.
- Lack of trust can kill a sale quickly. Google Trusted Stores is free to apply for, and Wyomind has a Adobe Commerce extension.
Set realistic goals
A good conversion rate varies by industry. Review the Internet Retailer Top 500 and 2nd 500 guides for top sites in your niche and compare with their conversion rate. Anything better than what you have now is a good goal, but make sure it’s a realistic expectation for a specific timeframe. I’ve found a 10%-15% increase per quarter is achievable (i.e. increase from 2% to 2.2% in a single quarter).
Also, remember that CRO is a constant practice. You must set aside time/resources to review your results, and constantly improve. Over time, you can reduce your cost-per-acquisition.
Common mistakes with conversion optimization strategies
It is easy to get into a habit of just thinking that because your site is generating sales then your conversion rate is doing fine, and you do not need to check your website regularly. This is not the case, and your website should be checked and tested often to ensure all content is up to date and that it is still working on the way you want it to. CRO is mainly about experimentation and testing – getting your results and seeing what works and what needs changing.
Here are 3 common mistakes that are made when trying to implement a CRO strategy
- Not adding a positive spin on copy – you want to understand the pain points of your customers, but unless you can keep them on side with a positive ending to their problem, they’ll look elsewhere.
- No thought to omnichannel experience – more people are now using their mobile as the primary device for online shopping. If your website is not mobile-friendly, they’ll leave and find a competitor. Your website has to be easy to use across multiple devices and from different social media channels.
- Thinking that site speed isn’t important – if your site speed is too slow, people will not wait for it to load. Typically, consumers expect a page to load in less than 2 seconds. This not only goes for the home page, but product pages, and checkouts. Your customer is online shopping for convenience and because of time constraints. Taking up time with a site loading will not make them want to stay on your site.
Frequently asked questions about conversion rate optimization strategies
What does a conversion rate optimization specialist do?
A conversion optimization specialist is ultimately responsible for the strategy and implementation surrounding lead generation and conversion for the company. It is becoming more of a crucial role in a marketing team as more companies strive to get more sales and leads through their website.
What is a CRO program?
A CRO program (or a CRO plan), is a digital marketing strategy that businesses develop to improve the conversion rate of their website or applications, using conversion rate optimization techniques. CRO programs/plans involve looking through an entire website to find and analyze obstacles to conversion, optimizing them to improve conversion rates and boost desired actions.
Looking for more tips?
VWO has Best Practices for Beginners
About Jenna Warren
Jenna Warren is an Adobe Commerce Certified Solution Specialist at Creatuity. Jenna advises eCommerce merchants on long-term eCommerce strategy and sustainable competitive advantage in an ever-changing digital environment. Passionate about eCommerce, Jenna speaks and writes about Conversion Rate Optimization and other strategies for success.
Specializing in Adobe Commerce eCommerce design, development and support for leading retailers, Creatuity’s talented team of Adobe Commerce developers and eCommerce professionals have expertise and passion to take your business to the next level. If you have ambitious growth goals, or simply not enough time in the day already, it’s time to hire a CRO expert. Their expertise isn’t ‘cheap’, but extremely valuable, and yields returns quickly. Creatuity has helped numerous Adobe Commerce merchants with improving Conversion Rates, and we’d be happy to chat with you more to see if we’re the right fit for your business.